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Case Study

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Day of Giving

Day of Giving and Website Effectiveness Assessment Increased Online Gifts by 343%

Work: Online giving assessment and giving platform re-design, email best practices coaching, Day of Giving strategy and execution support

Summary: An in-depth assessment of current and needed online giving capabilities led to an 343% increase in online giving. We reviewed technical and copywriting best practices for email and led the design and execution of a wildly successful day of giving that added $134,000 to the bottom line.

Even as its national and international reputation sky-rocketed, this $20M performing arts organization struggled to remain financially solvent. With large deficits, high staff turnover, labor negotiations, and a dwindling donor base its future seemed in question.

They came to us looking for a breath of fresh air and new, cost-effective ideas for their broad-based fundraising efforts.

In our initial consultation call, it was evident that:

  • The organization had strong engagement with its constituents.
  • Donors were eager to be involved and to increase their philanthropic support but were frustrated with the online giving platform.
  • Effectiveness of email communications was below industry standard.
  • It was necessary to envision a campaign that would energize and excite the donor base.

Action Plan

Based on our initial assessment, we communicated to the client the following growth opportunities:

Re-design of web giving platform on a budget. We created a completely new online giving experience using existing tools that the organization already had. Previous vendors had quoted outrageous prices to fix the situation and no progress had been made in recent years.

The new online giving platform implemented conversion optimization best practices and allowed them to follow up with donors that started a gift but do not complete it!

This part of the work saw immediate and noticeable performance increases.

Email effectiveness coaching. We taught the in-house team how to build emails that drive results.

For the first time, the organization was able to track donations to individual emails. They vastly improved their deliverability (number of emails that make it to inboxes) as well as the number of people making gifts because of emails.

Fundraising chatbot implementation. Finally, we helped them implement state-of-the-art chatbot functionality on their website.

The chatbot was effective at recovering gifts that would have otherwise not have come through. It provided a conversational, relationship-building interface with donors right at the moment when they were making a gift.

From these conversations, we were able to determine questions that were holding people up in their donations and created an FAQ section to address them.

Day of Giving design and execution. With all these elements in place and performing at a high level, the client felt confident enough to celebrate its first ever Giving Day.

Again, this project needed to happen on a budget. We provided all the elements to help the in-house team rock this philanthropy marathon: a master plan, project management, email templates, copywriting consulting, giving day webpage design, telefundraising volunteer calling effort materials, and social media templates, among others.

The Results

The Day of Giving brought in over 150 new donors and $134,000 in 368 gifts.

Beyond these results, it engaged volunteers and matching gift donors in new ways so they were excited to support the organization even during otherwise challenging times.

As a result of the improvements we recommended in email, website, and chatbot online giving exploded by 343% vs. the previous year.

What the Client Said

It’s important to stay open when coming up with ideas. The MarktLab team are subject-matter experts and really nice to work with. The ideas we generated together saw incredible results almost from day one.

Want results like this for your non-profit? Let’s talk.